October 1, 2010

Getting The (Short) Shaft
I have two '66 six-cylinder Mustang coupes. My 16-year-old daughter will soon be driving one. I have upgraded both to dual master cylinders and put an 8-inch rear in one. My concern is the long steering shaft. I have two '68 steering boxes with the short shafts. Until I can afford an aftermarket upgrade, will the '68 box and column adapt to the '66 six-cylinder power steering? I have checked several years of back issues and can only find limited info. An answer will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your hard work on a great magazine for the Ford enthusiast.
David Hubai
Via the Internet

A It will take some work, but I think you can get rid of the '66 Spear-O-Matic column. As long as you have power steering on your '66, it should work. This will not work with manual steering six-cylinder cars, as the linkage is completely different. You will also need the '68 steering column. All the safety is in the '68 column. It is a shaft-within-a-shaft design that collapses in a frontal collision. Simply cutting the shaft on your '66 to adapt it won't give you the safety advantage of the '68 unit, unless you're cutting the shaft down to install an aftermarket collapsible column, like the laser-cut Flaming River unit that's being used in the magazine's '68 Mustang Project Generation Gap. Here is what you need to know for your project if you decide to tackle it:

1. The '68 box will physically bolt to your '66 frame. The mounting is the same.

2. Your '66 steering shaft has a 1-inch sector shaft coming out of the bottom of it. The '68 box has a 11/8-inch shaft, so you will need to use the '68 pitman arm. Your '66 pitman arm is straight, while the '68 arm has a hump in the middle of it to clear the power steering valve used on the '67-'70 cars. As long as the ball stud from the control valve is the same size, you should be OK.

3. You will need the steering-column-to-firewall mount from the '68 to anchor the base of the column. Your '66 unit will not work-it just holds the rubber seal in place. You'll be drilling a few mounting holes.

4. The column-to-dash mount is different. The '68 uses a four-bolt, two-piece bracket to secure the column to the dash unit, and the '66 uses two studs. The '68 slot for the bracket is wider than the '66, so you may need to "thicken up" the little tang in the '66 column bracket for it to fit correctly with the '68 column.

5. Wiring: here's where it gets tricky. The emergency switch is attached to the column on the '68, but it's in the glovebox on your '66. Fortunately Ford was pretty good about keeping wire colors consistent, so you should be able to splice the two together. Here are the wires you need to splice/modify (unless noted, the wire colors are the same for both years):

Orange/blue stripe - RR turn signal output
Green/orange stripe - LR Turn signal output
Green/white stripe - LF turn signal output
White/blue stripe - RF turn signal output
Blue - power from the turn signal flasher
Yellow - power for horns
Blue/yellow stripe - output to horns
Green/red stripe ('66) to green ('68) - stop lamp power in

The other wires in the '68 column are used for the emergency flashers and you shouldn't need them.

6. Your '66 steering wheel won't bolt on to the '68 column, as the '68 base is wider. You'll need an aftermarket wheel or reuse the '68 wheel.

With patience, you should be able to convert from the solid shaft steering column to the safer collapsible unit. Good luck with the project!

Two-Tone Cyclone
I have a two-tone '67 Mercury Cyclone that I'm trying to put back to its factory shape. The problem is that I can't find the trim that separates the two colors on the car. I don't know if you can help me with this or not. Anything would be helpful, part numbers or anything else would be great. Thank you for your time.
Phil Doughty
Willmar, MN

A Your question was truly a tough one for several reasons. First, I have never seen a two-tone Cyclone before, so I had to confirm that you could in fact, get one (you could, which makes your car rare). Second, did the two-tone car use the same trim as the vinyl-top cars (which it does-some models used a chrome strip rather than the stainless trim for the two-tone paint option), and third, the final issue of the Lincoln and Mercury Text and Illustration book (1975) doesn't list the side pieces and the correct numbers!

The two-tone paint option did use the same trim as the vinyl top, and they are the same ones used on the '66 Comet (body code 63). The only ones listed in the final issue of T&I are for the four-door (body code 54). I had to reach way back into the bookshelf and get out my 1967 issue '65-'66 Master Parts Catalog to find the info, but I found it. The side trim part numbers are C6GY-63423A18-A for the passenger side and C6GY-63423A19-A for the driver side. The two pieces that run across the back panel are C6GY-63423A20-A (passenger side) and C6GY-63423A21-A (driver side). The back panel pieces were also used on the Comet 202 two-doors (body 62).

Unfortunately, no one reproduces these pieces, so you're going to have to find them at a swap meet some-where. You might want to check out www.mercurystuff.com online. There's some good info and a couple of good links too. Good luck on your hunt-that's a rare piece and I want pictures of it when you're done.

Tag You're It
I am trying to identify a rearend that came with a partially assembled Cobra replica kit. The tag reads, "S262C" on line one. And "2 73 75 6DO3" on the second line. Can you help me identify the year and model car this rearend came from?
Donald Criss
Lawndale, NC

A Your rearend came from a '96 3.8L V-6 Mustang and it's a 7.5-inch axle with a 2.73 open gear. While not as desirable as the 8.8-inch V-8 assembly, for moderate power it's usable. For those of you who want to know more, here's the breakdown:

S262C = Sterling Axle plant Mustang design rear axle. If the axle goes through a design change, there is a dash after this code with a number to denote the revision change. This tells the technician which parts to use in any kind of repair. 2 73 = axle ratio 2.73:1. An L between these two numbers will denote a locking-type rear axle. 75 = 7.5-inch ring gear. The heftier 8.8 usually has the dot between the numbers. 6D03 = April 3, 1996. First digit is the year, the letter is the month, and the two digits on the end are the day. Hope this helps. Good luck with the Cobra project; they're a lot of fun!

Corvette what?
I want to convert a '65 Mustang coupe into a pro-touring project. Does anyone make a kit/bracket to ease the pain of installing a '90s Corvette suspension under my car? I'm trying to stay on a budget, and I can find the complete suspension, front and rear, for around $1,500. That sounds much better than $6,000 for a RideTech setup.
Dave Homer
Via the Internet

A That sounds like an interesting project. I have seen '60s Corvette IRS and tons of Jaguar IRS conversions, but never a '90s C4 setup. Nobody is going to make a kit for that, so you are looking at a complete custom build with perhaps an Art Morrison chassis or a full custom bracket setup to mount it to the Mustang chassis. If you can't do the fabrication yourself, the cost of making it fit is going to far exceed the cost of the RideTech equipment. You may be able to get the parts cheap, but making them work will cost a whole lot more. The RideTech parts are engineered to fit your car.

If you are really set on using the C4 suspension, I would contact KR Performance and Restorations in Nebraska [www.krpandr.com: (402)799-2056]. It is currently modifying a '68 Camaro to use a C5 Z06 drivetrain and it can tell you about the cost of doing such a project, plus the employees are slobbering Mustang guys. Good luck with the pro-touring project.

80 Percent SCJ
My father-in-law happened across, what we think may be a 429SCJ. To make sure this is what we found, I was wondering if I could get your help in identifying it with the casting numbers from the block, intake, and heads? The casting numbers are D1VE-6015-AA, D0OE-9425-C, and D3VE-A2A respectively. I've looked at multiple websites trying to figure out if I found a real SCJ. I hope that you can help with this.
Luis (last name withheld)
Via the Internet

A It sounds like you have about 80 percent of an SCJ there. Here are the details: The block-D1VE-6015-AA-is a CJ/SCJ block, but if it is cast with only D1VE-AA it is a base 429 block. Make sure it has the 6015 cast in the part number and you have the thicker webbing CJ/SCJ piece. This block could come as a two- or four-bolt version, so you need to pull the pan and see if you won the lottery and got the four-bolt version. The intake-D0OE-9425-C-is the correct 429 SCJ intake flanged for a Holley carburetor. The CJ got an intake flanged for a Rochester. The heads are the only disappointment-D3VE-A2A-means they are from a 460 base engine with large combustion chamber heads. If this engine is apart then you should be able to see a huge difference between the ports on the intake and the ports on the heads-they aren't even close, but the block and intake are the right pieces. Hope this helps.